alexa Mike Sonko replaces lion statue after online riducule - Daily Nation

Mike Sonko replaces lion statue after online riducule

Saturday March 9 2019

More by this Author

After days of being ridiculed by city residents on social media, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has replaced the lion statue he had mounted at the University Way-Uhuru Highway roundabout.

Speaking to the Nation, Mr Oshoto Ondula, who is the sculptor behind the statue that became a laughing stock, said it was only a cartoon version.

The new sculpture, which is shiny and dark brown in colour, at least bears some semblance to the king of the jungle. 

The lion statue is part of a beautification project that City Hall has embarked on since last year and involves planting of grass on major streets across the capital city.

A statement from the Nairobi Beautification Programme Director Joab Ogolla said the sculpture only needed a bit of touch up.

"It has come to my attention that several residents have raised concerns over the lion statue at University Way roundabout that it did not meet the required threshold.

"Well, the statue was subject to improvements on site,” said Mr Ogolla.

But the new sculpture does not bear any semblance with the meek-looking statue mounted last week.


While Kenyans have at least come to appreciate the beautification programme first started by Sonko's predecessor Dr Evans Kidero, it is clear much work still needs to be done.

Mr Kidero initiated a landscaping project along Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway and Waiyaki way, in an attempt to beautify Nairobi city ahead of the visit by former US President Barrack Obama to Kenya in 2015.

In what many interpreted as an attempt to impress the then US president, the grass became a subject of ridicule for failing to grow on time for Mr Obama’s visit. It quickly became "Kidero grass" and became the object of derision even by artistes.

But Mr Kidero, even though he lost the election had the last laugh as the grass and flowers became a welcome sight for many motorists in the city years later.

It appears now that Mr Kidero's beautification programme was not in vain as his successor at City Hall has revived it, albeit with missteps.